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COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Gov. Nikki Haley says her own experience as an identity theft victim explains her push for getting people signed up for credit monitoring following the massive security breach at South Carolina's revenue agency.

Haley says the theft a decade ago caused her family years of exasperation and harassment from collection agencies. While she never paid the $16,000 charged to an inactive card, the ordeal sank her credit rating, costing her an unknown amount in higher-cost loans and credit card interest rates, plus attorney fees.

Haley says she doesn't want other South Carolinians to go through that.

She is urging residents to sign up for a state-paid service that provides a year of credit alerts and lifetime of over-the-phone help to theft victims. She says that post-event assistance is especially valuable.

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